The Power of the PLN

It is November, 2004.

I have 22 fifth grade students, but I’m not standing in front of them.

In fact, I’m not in my classroom.  And I’m not even standing.

I’m sitting in the front of a conference room that is filled with adults:  The Oregon School Boards Association Annual Convention.

The steps lead up to a podium, and looking across the podium there are hundreds and hundreds of adults.  I’m vaguely aware that some are looking directly at me, and some are looking at a large screen just above me.

“We have the ability right now,” I explain…

The learning, the resources, the strategies being used in a classroom in Oregon (or anywhere else) can immediately be used by another teacher in any other state, any other place around the world – on the same day.  They can support and impact learners that we will never see, that we will never meet.

I explain that a lesson I teach in the morning in Oregon can now be used the same afternoon in Kentucky, or in Kansas, or anywhere else…


It is January, 2015.

I am sitting at my computer, and I am stuck.  Twitter was clearly a worthwhile, productive step.  So was blogging.  But I don’t seem to have enough time to learn everything about blogging at once.  I’m trying to find an easier way to share the interactive multiplication table I’ve made directly through my blog.  The blog is one more avenue to share.


Following the posting of the animated multiplication table, I’m fairly certain I’ve responded to each one of the tweets and emails and comments and voxer messages that followed requesting a copy of the table by replying with an email attachment.  The problem is that it’s cumbersome.  It’s not that I mind.  In fact, I’m invigorated by sending resources to teachers.  I always have been.  The problem is that this version of sharing is slowing me down enough that it is bogging down my vision of how to make future attempts to share resources more efficient.  I’m looking for something this simple:   (click) see the animated instructional strategy in use… (click) download the animated instructional tool and use it with your students immediately.

So, I go to my PLN.

Right away, Brett Mohr @brmohr sends me a tweet, which leads to a conversation.  Brett hunts down some helpful information about downloading from blogs and sends it my way, and that leads to my dabbling a litter further and learning how to overcome the obstacle which was both tiny and large at the same time.

Now the chart is in Kansas… and Washington…

And I’ve learned one more way to share with teachers I may never meet in person, who are helping students I may never meet.  I am on a learning mission, and I just learned something very important.

Thanks, Brett!

Brett Mohr reply

Click here to read Brett’s post that describes the same day:  “The Power of Connections!!!!!”


Click here to see the animated multiplication table blog post.

single multiplication page

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